Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Score the best seats in the park for shows,
rides, and rollercoasters.
If you're in the process of planning a Disney vacation (or
have already survived one) you know how frustrating it can be to reserve a
FastPass+, get everyone on the Animal Kingdom bus, and finally get on
Expedition Everest—only to get off and wonder why your experience wasn't as
magical as everyone said it would be.
The first thing to know about getting the best seat on every ride is that
you can always ask for a specific row and seat, regardless of it being in the
front, back, or middle, and cast members will do their absolute best to
accommodate you.
Still, though, nabbing "the best seat" is highly
subjective.
If you're terrified (but finally brave enough) to attempt Tower of
Terror, your ideal seat will differ from the rest of your thrill-seeking
family.
If it's unseasonably cold, you may want to opt out of getting drenched
on Splash Mountain—but can tell your kids exactly where to sit if they want
to get soaked.
That's why we're letting you know which seats are the wettest, the driest,
which have the best view, and which are best for your family photo
album—letting you make your own ideal itinerary.
Save this cheat sheet to
your iPhone and put it on flashcards for your young ones to memorize, because
this is your no-plans-needed guide to get the most out of every ride and
experience in Walt Disney World.
Magic Kingdom Jungle Cruise: Each boat boards from either a front or rear
entrance on its right side.
The rear entrance is much preferred, as the front
also seats passengers in the middle, which will have you bumping knees with
neighbors and leave other guests' heads in your photos of the bathing
elephants.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The front row is the place to be if you want a
great view or to get soaked, but from the feedback following its recent
refurbishment, guests are getting wetter than ever.
To stay dry, stick towards
the back—they tend to no longer board the very last row, but anywhere close
should keep you dry.
Splash Mountain: Sitting towards the front will get you drenched, so the
last row is your best bet for flying down the mountain while also staying
dry.
If you're really trying to avoid the waterworks, duck once the ride
camera flashes, or better yet, pack a poncho! There's so much to see beyond
the final drop that it's a worthy ride, even if you despise surprise showers.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: The back of this 30-passenger train is ideal
for a fast ride that will give you height over the medium-sized drops and
speed throughout it all.
If you're traveling with children, have them sit on
your right-hand side—when the track banks, it causes all passengers to slide
towards the left of the benched seating.
Haunted Mansion: When you enter the second room, otherwise known as the
"stretch room," stand underneath the portrait of the woman with the parasol to
exit and board the ride first.
If you get lost in the shuffle, don't
worry—sticking towards the right side of the loading area tends to be
faster.
It's A Small World: The front row of each boat provides a clear view of the
legendary ride's costuming and details.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: This glimmering, gem-filled family coaster is one
of the fastest rides in the Magic Kingdom.
The first seat is the slowest, so
head towards the back if you want some of that unparalleled speed.
Mickey's PhilharMagic: Guests are required to proceed towards the end of the
aisle of the theatre for this multi-sensory show, so enter your row slowly, as
this will put you directly in the center.
Space Mountain: Everyone will tell you both ride tracks are identical, but
the experience is undeniably different.
The Omega bay, which boards on the
right, is faster and smoother than Alpha bay on the left, which is older and a
bit more rickety, with some jostling and lift in the drops.
The Omega Bay
track, which many prefer, is often used exclusively for FastPass+, so you may
want to book in advance to experience it.
As for the two-car, six-seat
vehicle, the second seat is fastest, followed by the first, both of which are
major fun for thrill-seekers.
The third and fourth seats are least preferred
because they're on the bend, but the fifth is smooth, and six is slowest—two
great choices for nervous first-timers.
Monsters, Inc.
Laugh Floor The creature-hosted comedy show utilizes audience
participation as part of its hilarious routines, so sit near the inside aisle
if you'd like to be featured in the show.
Most interactions happen here,
because it's easily accessible for cast members to step in with a
microphone.
The jury's still out on how exactly people are chosen to be "That
Guy," the male guest who is unwillingly used as a punch line throughout the
show, but looking unenthused, sitting towards the front on the right-hand
side, and leaving your sunglasses on are all said to help your chances.
Epcot Test Track: Front row is often preferred simply for sightlines (it
is said to be roomier as well), but there isn't much difference between seats
in this two-row vehicle.
Soarin': The only difference between front vehicles and ones further back is
that there may be dangling legs in your view.
The front middle is best, but
you will have to wait five to seven minutes longer for the unobstructed view
if it's not available upon boarding, so it depends which you prefer.
Disney's Hollywood Studios: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Long gone
are the days when the middle jump seat came without a seatbelt, so the
experience is now similar throughout the vehicle's 21 seats.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster: Front row is the place to be, as it's the fastest
and it can be tough to see clearly unless you're there.
The speed doesn't vary
much from the front of the "super-stretch limo" to the end of it, but the very
back works best for those with first-timer nerves.
Star Tours—The Adventure Continues: Each trip has a "rebel spy" on board
whose photograph is taken prior to launching on C3PO's harried journey.
Face
forward during the safety presentation and keep your 3D glasses off, and the
chances your photo will be used are higher.
It is random and up to the cast
member's control, but you're more likely to be chosen over the 39 fellow
riders if you have a clear photo.
For a tamer ride, ask to be in the first
row.
For one that's more turbulent, request the back row on either side.
Muppet*Vision 3D: Once you reach the front of the queue, you'll enter into a
delightful, themed waiting room.
Stand near the front right-hand corner,
closest to the TV screens, about halfway out from the doors.
When they pop
open, guests will be required to proceed to the end of the aisle, placing you
in the very center and towards the front of the spectacle.
Fantasmic!: The middle is always preferred.
There are two sections in the
center, with the right side being loaded from the beginning of the FastPass+
side.
If you are willing to use FastPass+ on Fantasmic and line up an hour
early, you'll have a wonderful view.
Guests in the very front will get wet, so
if you'd like to take photos, aim for a few rows back.
If you're simply lining
up for the show and don't want to arrive extremely early, try looking for
empty pockets in the center of already-filled rows when you enter, as parties
may leave gaps between themselves.
The Fantasmic! Dining Package section is
always an option for reserved seating, but it's all the way on the side, so
waiting in line and bringing dinner into the theatre could lead to better
seats.
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest: Due to a certain mid-ride
surprise (if you know, you know), the back row isn't necessarily the
fastest.
Opt instead for front row, which will give you the best all-around
perspective of the ride, or row 15 (two rows from the back) to get the best of
both versions of the Yeti-filled adventure.
Festival of the Lion King: If your child wants to participate in the show,
the ground floor benches towards the front in any section will give them the
best odds.
Otherwise, the show is in the round, so each section gets a clear
view.
If you're a Timon and Pumbaa fan, sit closest to the FastPass+ entrance
to see them interact up close.
Kilimanjaro Safaris: Whether you're a professional photographer or just want
to brag on Instagram, do whatever you can to sit on the outside aisles, which
means entering first or last.
You'll spot plenty of animals on either side,
but black rhino, alligator, elephant, white rhino, lion, cheetah, ostrich,
warthog, giraffes, and flamingos can all be viewed from the left, so try your
best or simply request to enter the row first.
It's Tough To Be A Bug!: The surprisingly thrilling show can be somewhat
intense for children.
If they spook easily, have them sit in the back
left-hand corner, furthest from the entrance doors.
If your teenagers think
they're too cool to be scared, the front will be the most intense—especially
on the right side.
DINOSAUR: The front row can be most terrifying for this stressful journey
through time, but the aisles are unexpectedly scary as well, as they're
closest to the dinosaurs that seem to pop out of nowhere.
Nervous guests
should sit towards the back and on the left, while thrill-seekers should aim
for the front or sit on the right side, where the Carnotaurus enters.
Finding Nemo—The Musical: Nearly every seat in the house is a good one,
but characters pass through the middle of the auditorium and side seats can
peer backstage, so front and center is best for up-close views, and just
behind the tech booth in the middle is ideal to see the show in full.
Kali River Rapids: Each ride has one seat that gets head-to-toe soaked, but
no one has been able to pinpoint which it will be in advance.
There have been
rumors that seats to the left of the entrance remain dry, but it's untrue.
If
you go on Kali River Rapids, you're going to be at least soaked and likely
drenched—and only sheer luck and a couple of ponchos can keep you from the
public mid-day shower.
Prop your feet up on the center to keep them from
getting flooded (and keep your shoes from flying off), leave a change of
clothing in the free lockers, and hope for the best! Finding
good seats at shows and on rides in Walt Disney World can be a challenge.
Read
on to learn how to score the best seats.

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